Congregations in Transition

The Transition and Call Process

CHARTCongregations in transition are in a partnership with the Office of the Bishop, supporting one another and holding one another accountable to be who God is creating each to be: the Body of Christ. In the midst of a transition, the Office of the Bishop and the congregation work closely toward the goal of finding the right pastor for the next phase of the congregation’s life.

The Office of the Bishop recommends that every congregation take advantage of the critical opportunity for renewal that is presented during a time of pastoral transition. This “in-between time” offers congregations a rare opportunity to reflect on ministry and the future of the congregation in unique ways. Entering the transition process intentionally and thoughtfully allows the Holy Spirit to move and breathe new life into the ministry of a congregation. A successful interim process not only prepares the way for the next chapter in a congregation’s history, it also allows individuals and the community to practice healthy leave-taking, heal old wounds, and imagine creative ministry that can bless the wider community for future generations.

Led by the intentional interim pastor and the congregational council, everyday ministry continues during the transition process: weekly worship, educational opportunities, outreach to the community, and care of members. During this in-between time, the leadership of the congregation will find engaging ways to guide the faith community through a self-study that will embrace the past, name the present, and prayerfully discern God’s call into the future. To do this, the whole community will need to communicate well and often so that everyone stays committed to moving forward in this process.

ELCA Call Process Information

Loving God, be with us and guide us during this time of discernment. Fill our leaders with your wisdom. Keep us mindful of the work you would have us do. Lead us and guide us, O God, to be about the work of establishing your reign here on earth as the search for a new pastor continues. Bless all who have taken on extra responsibilities, and fill them with a sense of your love and presence. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.